Specific research topics in our Environmental Biotechnology Group are currently to: 1) recover carbon as useful products from industrial waste gases ; 2) to recover carbon from organic wastewater and biomass; 3) to store renewable electric power as methane via biological power-to-gas technology; and 4) to study extracellular electron transfer with bioelectrochemistry. In addition to bioprocessing, the group is involved in studying the built environment and mice lung microbiomes. We use these technologies and tools:
Carboxylate Platform to recover carbon from wastes with anaerobic fermenters and anaerobic digesters in the form of medium-chain carboxylic acids and methane; and to understand how to shape reactor microbiomes by using 'omics tools.
Syngas Platform to convert recalcitrant organic materials into building blocks for subsequent biological conversion into liquid fuels and chemicals; and to recover carbon from industrial waste gases with syngas fermentation.
Microbial electrochemistry to store electric power with microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) into chemicals; to study microbe-electrode and microbe-microbe interctions with 3-electrode systems in METs and soils (Biogeochemistry); and to apply in biosensors and biocomputers.
Photobioreactors and microfluidics to improve bioprocessing kinetics and efficiencies in several engineered systems; and to use as research tools.
Microbiome analysis to ascertain relationships between the environment, the microbial community, and its function in engineered systems, in soil and subsurface environments, and in the built environment (Bioaerosols).
Examples of Previously Funded Research Projects:
Lars Angenent with an H-type microbial electrochemical technology.